It’s every traveler’s nightmare: flight delays followed by arriving in the host country late. You race to the hotel and check in, only to find that your hotel reservation has been given away. At this point, it could be late at night. You’re tired, hungry, annoyed, and ready to just sleep. The hotel clerk seems apologetic, but they tell you that there’s nothing that you can do. However, is that really the case? In our experience? Not really.
If you arrive at a hotel and they tell you there’s nothing you can do, try these steps:
First and foremost, do not lose your temper! It’s not necessarily that the hotel clerk won’t help you, but think about it if you were in their shoes. There’s nothing that they can do to turn back time, and they certainly want to make it right. But they can’t do anything when there’s an angry person breathing down their necks. The only thing that they can do is try to be polite and help you the best way they know how. Would you want to be yelled at? Try to have some patience as they untangle a troubling situation.
Next, remember that the hospitality industry lives and breathes on customer patronage. If you made a reservation and they gave away your room, many hotels will move you to another hotel owned by the same chain. If this isn’t possible, they can at least get you lodging elsewhere at their expense. Part of the reason why you set up reservations is to be protected in situations like this.
Finally, you may want to check your credit card and/or travel insurance policy. The insurance company may be willing to pay for a few days until things can be corrected. It’s something that’s out of your control and you can’t do anything to fix it. Your credit card may have a similar program/policy, so it never hurts to check things out for yourself.
If the clerk doesn’t wish to explore any alternatives, you may need to speak with the manager. Again, this is not the time to get upset. The front line employees only have so much leeway before they have to ask their supervisor. If their supervisor seems unwilling to help, you will need to file a complaint. This is especially the case if you’ve already put down the money for your stay.
It can be really frustrating, but if you keep your cool you’re bound to get a situation that doesn’t ruin your holiday.